B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

In Praise of indieBRAG by author Pamela B. Eglinski

" Let me say once again that indieBRAG is a dream to work with.  You are head and shoulders above most every other social media site.  I'm so pleased to work with you, and you never seem annoyed with my questions and requests! Pam Eglinski                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Can-Can Girl Find out more about Pamela B. Eglinski

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Interview with Award Winning Author Nicole Evelina

We are delighted to welcome Award Winning Author Nicole Evelina today to talk with us about her advice in creating a setting for a story, creating visible backstory, conflict, creating believable dialogue and advice on what to do when writers are stuck on a specific scene. Nicole, what are the steps in creating a setting for your story? Really for me the only two steps are the decision and the doing research. The decision is really based in what will best serve the story, both in terms of historical accuracy and plot/characters. When I can, I like to visit the location (even if I am writing about another time period) because there is no substitute for walking where your characters do. But if I can’t, I look at pictures, Google Maps and Google Earth, read guidebooks and talk to locals (gotta love the internet for that!) To me, the setting has to tell the reader something about the time period (or for contemporary books, the nature of the story) and the characters. It has to be accurate, lush and evocative. So I’ll give two examples. In my Guinevere books, Avalon is a main setting. Obviously, it’s a mythical place, so…

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Oh, The Characters We Love To Hate!

Oh, the characters we love to hate! Writing a horrible antagonist is great fun for an author. In my Circle of Nine series the main antagonist is an older woman named Adele. In fact, she is the grandmother of the protagonist’s boyfriend and that makes things a little tricky! Although she is older in the main storyline, we do get to see her within the series at many ages beginning at age eighteen. Adele is both conniving and jealous. In fact, jealousy and perceived slights are her main motivations throughout the series. These feelings are mainly directed toward the women in the Circle of Nine who serve as the guardians of the ancient stone circles of Ireland and the old ways of their tribe, the Tuatha de Danann. Adele has always coveted a spot in the Circle and believes that she (as the more devoted to the old pagan ways and spells) ought to have inherited the position that went to her cousin. The Circle has very firmly established lines of inheritance from one eldest daughter to another . . . and since Adele’s mother was NOT the eldest daughter, Adele has spent her life aching (and plotting) for something…

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Throwing Donuts from Behind a Wall – Marketing your Indie Book Online

How to market your book? Well, the hard part is writing it. After that it’s easy; you just stick it on Amazon and sit back and count the money as it rolls in. Oh wait, I wasn’t asked to write a piece of fiction… So, ignore that first sentence. Except, naively, that is pretty much the way I approached things in the beginning. After all, how can you know, when you’ve just published a book, what to do next? I don’t have a marketing or statistics degree. I’m not naturally ‘pushy’ (and I don’t mean that word pejoratively.) In common with many authors, I suspect, I am an introvert. I communicate by writing, be it books, articles, or messages on Facebook. Face to face, I could no more brazenly ask someone to buy my book than I could gracefully roller-skate backwards whilst wrestling an irate baboon. So this is not a piece about book fairs, organising talks or book signings. I actually live such a long way away from anywhere that few would be worth my while, financially, or logistically. Pavement pounding is not an option for me. But it is possible to market ‘remotely’, and writers, unlike singers or…

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Quality is important!

Self- Publishing Self-published authors are not competing with other self-published authors but ALL authors. Once a book is available for sale, it must be up to the standard that readers expect from all good books. You rarely get a second chance for a good first impression!  Once you put out a book that lacks professionalism, readers will be less likely to try your next book.  This can be a very difficult hurdle to get over. Traditionally published authors are not your enemy.  Most traditionally published authors don’t have any advantages that you can’t achieve. Traditionally Published books are: Edited by the publisher Cover art is done by the publisher Some help with promotion is provided- most is expected from the author unless they have high sales. Lower royalty payments Self- Published books are: Editing is provided by the author Cover provided by the author Promotion done by the author Higher royalty payments. If a SP author pays for professional help, they will probably come out about equal in money made. Doing the work requires time and money but the author maintains complete control- something that is often very important. The self-publishing community is very generous in advice and with a…

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Books and Me by Steven McKay

I’ve always loved books, for as long as I can remember. My mum was a teacher so I suppose she felt obliged to make sure I could read well so she’d take me to get books from the library all the time. I have vivid memories of borrowing one with a little clock that you could move the hands on. I must have been about three or four-years-old but it’s still in my mind and must have helped spark my love of books. When I was old enough I would go along to the library myself and get out things like the Hardy Boys, Asterix and anything I could find about ghosts or the supernatural. I enjoyed writing little things myself eventually – silly short stories that made no sense and infuriated my English teacher who clearly recognised I had some skill but only wanted to waste it by writing nonsense to entertain my adolescent friends. Sadly, adolescence passed and I grew up into a sensible man who wanted to write things a little more serious and my grandma would always say to me, “Hurry up and write a book. I want to see your book in the library.” She…

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A Victorian San Francisco Christmas

By M. Louisa Locke-Award Winning Author   Because the most recent book in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, Pilfered Promises, is set during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, 1880, I spent a good deal of time researching how residents of that city were celebrating the holidays that year, including looking for articles in the San Francisco Chronicle. What I found was that many of the traditions that we are familiar with today started in the Nineteenth century…including the importance of advertising special holiday sales! “The Arcade: We are offering this week SPECIAL and EXTRAORDINARY INDUCEMENTS to buyers of HOLIDAY PRESENTS, especially in our SILK DEPARTMENT” ––San Francisco Chronicle, December 19, 1880 However, these traditions were actually relatively new. Before the mid-1880s, most native-born Americans, particularly Protestants from the Northeast, saw Thanksgiving and not Christmas as the key national holiday. In fact, throughout the 1800s, a number of Protestant denominations were very resistant to the celebration of the birth of Christ in any fashion beyond religious observances. Not surprisingly, it was the Southern state of Louisiana, where there was a significant Catholic population, that first declared December 25th a holiday (in 1837), and Christmas wasn’t declared a national legal…

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IndieBRAG Cover Crush: Betrayal by Michele Kallio

Cover Crush by Colleen Turner   Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary Synopsis Betrayal tells the story of two women, modern day Lydia Hamilton and Elisabeth Beeton, a lady’s maid to Anne Boleyn, second wife of Henry the Eighth. Lydia is happily in love with her physician boyfriend, Dan Taylor, until she begins to have nightmares that seem all too realistic.  She dreams of a girl, a prison cell and a beheading.  In her dreams Lydia finds herself in the Elisabeth’s body experiencing Elisabeth’s 16th century life.  Lydia tries to ignore these vivid dreams as long as she can, that is, until Elisabeth’s diary arrives in the mail.  Suddenly, Lydia is caught up in a quest to uncover the truth behind Elisabeth’s betrayal. Thoughts on the cover If you know me you know I love historical fiction, especially the kind that incorporates a little mystery into the mix. My first thoughts when seeing this cover were, “what sorts of secrets are within those letters? And what do those letters have to do with the stately home behind it?” That pull of mystery makes this cover very intriguing for me and makes it hard to…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with S.M. Spencer

We’d like to welcome multi award winning author S M Spencer to indieBRAG today to talk with us about her writing. S.M. grew up reading the romantic suspense works of marvelous authors such as Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. These books, as well as others by such incredible authors as Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, and J.R.R. Tolkien, stirred in her a passion that would last a lifetime–to write stories that would stay with readers long after they’d finished the final pages. Although S M Spencer grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area she now lives in Australia and writes from the home she shares with her husband, horses, cats and dogs. She writes clean young adult paranormal romance as well as Australian contemporary/rural romance. When writing, what makes you feel happiest? I suppose what makes me happiest is when I get into a scene, and it just flows. Sometimes the dialogue just flows so naturally and you can hear their voices so clearly. It is pure bliss when this happens.  What makes you feel the most frustrated? What is most frustrating is- when I know what I want to write, but it just doesn’t translate onto paper. The scene/description/dialogue might be crystal clear in my…

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A Writer’s Life: Interview with Gloria Zachgo

Today, award winning author Gloria Zachgo is here with us to talk about her writing!  It’s a natural for Gloria to write stories with Kansas settings. She grew up on a farm in Lincoln County, Kansas, where she attended one of the last one-room schoolhouses in the country. After graduating from Brown Mackie Business School she married her high school sweetheart. Living out of state for several years, Gloria and her husband moved back to their Kansas roots.  While their children were young, she ran a small business out of their home.  When her children left the nest, she pursued a lifelong dream and took various art lessons. Always wanting to learn new things she joined a creative writing group in 2006. She soon found she had a passion for writing fictional short stories.  One particular short story was written from the prompts of a gingerbread man and a small toy horse. It led to her first novel, The Rocking Horse.   “I knew there was more to the story. I kept seeing the image of a young woman, all alone, with a quirky little toy trying to give her a message.” After her debut novel won honorable mention in the 20th Annual…

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